The Republican loss in the Alabama Senate race came as a huge surprise. This is the first time that a democratic candidate had won the Senate seat in Alabama in over two decades. President Trump reflected on the entire race just a few hours after the results were announced. The president noted that even though Republican candidate Roy Moore worked hard to win, it was already an uphill battle. In a tweet sent on Wednesday, Trump said that “the deck was stacked against” Moore.
Alabama has predominantly been a red state. Doug Jones’s victory is a massive game changer for the Democrats. The loss will also have massive implications on the GOP moving forward. To start with, the Republican Party’s Senate majority has now reduced to 51. Besides, political analysts say that this victory in a traditionally red state like Alabama will embolden Democrats as we head into the 2018 midterms.
Republicans are hoping that the momentous tax bill that is already in front of the Senate will go through before the midterms. Losing what many conservatives consider a “safe state” to a democratic candidate should be a timely wake-up call for the party. It’s a clear indication that the 2018 midterms will present a very serious test for Republicans and the Trump administration.
The Alabama Senate race had its own controversy. Roy Moore was at the center of it after eight women accused him of sexual misconduct. The Republican candidate was accused of pursuing sexual relationships with the women when they were teenagers. Roy Moore rejected all the accusations against him.
Trump had appeared reluctant to throw his support for Moore due to these allegations. The president had also preferred Luther Strange during the Republican primaries. However, Trump eventually confirmed his endorsement saying that it was important for the GOP to maintain its majority in the Senate. The loss is definitely a big blow to the president.
This was also one of the toughest Senate races we have seen in awhile. The Republican candidate lost the race by just 1.5 percentage points.
Dough Jones is the first Democratic Party Senate candidate to win in Alabama since Richard Shelby took the seat in 1992. However at that time, Shelby shifted sides to become a Republican two years after his victory.
It’s not yet clear what the president meant when he said “the deck was stacked against” the GOP candidate Roy Moore. The allegations of sexual misconduct may have tilted the scales slightly towards the Democrats though. Shortly after the results were confirmed, Trump congratulated Jones for the victory saying that it was indeed a hard-fought race.
How the Republicans will respond to this loss moving forward will have a bearing on how the 2018 midterms will turn out. The GOP can’t afford to lose its Senate majority. The party has run into many hurdles in its legislative agenda and losing its majority will significantly affect the current administration.